While working two hostess jobs, Mallory Salmon said she sometimes had to deal with picking up hours at the very last minute or was asked to work over her allotted time.
“It was worth it, but you still look back, and you're like ‘I did not make that much for working two jobs,’” said the senior speech pathology major.
Salmon said she has worked three jobs in her college career, usually two at the same time, as a way to help pay for her application to graduate school and send her test scores to these schools.
From January to September 2019, she said she worked at the Neely House restaurant as a hostess and the graduate school’s admissions department at Ball State.
Understanding the struggle of working two jobs because of his family, Brian Webster, assistant professor of management at Ball State, said there wasn’t a lot of research done on dual job holders, also known as moonlighters.
Participants in Brian Webster’s study worked an average of 33.97 hours per week at their primary job and 12.3 hours at their secondary job. However, the dual job holders were more engaged at their secondary job than their primary job.
Source: “Is Holding Two Jobs Too Much? An Examination of Dual Jobholders”
Along with Bryan Edwards, associate professor of management at Oklahoma State University, and Mickey Smith, associate professor of management at the University of South Alabama, Webster did a study in 2018 on the effects working two jobs can have on an individual.
Webster said he wanted to see if the negative stigma he found in news articles about dual job holders was true. He said he knew family members who would “flourish” from having two jobs.
One of the key ideas Webster and the co-authors of the study wanted to test was whether or not holding two jobs is a “bad thing.” They tested this by comparing dual job holders with single job holders on their job performance.
“What we actually found [is] that there really are no differences in the workplace between dual job holders and single job holders,” he said, adding that they tend to perform at the same levels and tend to be similarly gauged among other things.
Working two jobs, Salmon said she felt one of the more challenging parts was trying to get her work schedules to align.
Flexibility of a worker’s schedule, Webster said, was a factor that affects the decision to hold a second job. Someone who works a strict 8 a.m.-to-5 p.m. job could have more difficulty finding a second job.
According to the Census Bureau’s report which analyzed characteristics of multiple job holders in 2013, workers with multiple jobs were concentrated in the educational services, like school staff, and healthcare and social assistance industry.
In a separate study, Webster said, researchers found when dual job holders see one of their jobs as a passion, it tends to interfere more with their other job. He added people might be too drawn toward the job their passionate about and get burnt out at the other job.
The second finding from the 2018 study, he said, was the difference in work-family conflict — the way work interferes with a subject's family life.
Dual job holders experience more work-family conflict than single job holders, Webster said, because dual job holders are working longer hours in a week than their counterparts.
“That was kind of suggesting that dual job holders really aren't hurting the organizations for which they work. They can perform just as well [and] they can be just as engaged,” he said. “They might actually be hurting themselves in terms of their family life because work seems to dominate such a bigger portion of their life, compared to the single job holders.”
Webster was a dual job holder, working in retail and finance in the late 2000s and working in academia as a researcher and consultant around 2015. He said he only had social obligations to his girlfriend at the time, who is now his wife, and he felt he was able to devote enough time into the relationship.
“But certainly, I would say, when you're married and have a child, I would think a lot more about holding a second job,” he said.
After turning 21, Salmon said she didn’t get to go out with her friends very often, as she worked two jobs and studied for an estimated 15 hours a week.
“I had a boyfriend during the last five years,” she said. “[I’ve] been able to maintain at least a relationship while having multiple jobs … not so much the friendship aspect.”
Now, Salmon only works one job — as a hostess at 625 Tap House. She said she is also trying to get into graduate school.
“If I get into grad school, I wouldn't mind having two jobs because it's definitely doable and definitely test[s] your skills on just being organized and on top of things,” she said.
Contact Charles Melton with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Cmelton444.